My Brother Sam is Dead

by: Christopher Collier & James Lincoln Collier

Sam Meeker

Characters Sam Meeker

As Tim's older and only brother, Sam is admired by Tim for everything he is and does. Sam's stories of college glory are bedtime stories for a rapt Tim. Sam is aware of this attention and enjoys being the center of it. His decision to join the war is appropriate to his personality, since he is one who loves to compete, whether in college debates or in heated arguments with his equally fiery father. Sam also craves the glory of being part of something great and worthy of talk and admiration. He is full of advice and pride, acting with a casual ease that he knows Tim envies, ready for adventure and drama and not stopping to worry about the people who are at home worrying about him. Sam's decision to enlist can be attributed partly to teenage rebellion, and greatly to his desire for adventure and involvement. Sam is the center of Tim's first person story and the worry on everybody's mind when the war comes into conversation, as it often does. Sam's girlfriend, brother, parents, and even the town preacher speak of him on a regular basis, partly because he has a forceful and recognizable personality, and also because he is fighting for the underdog, the rebel army, a decision which is not highly respected in his primarily Tory hometown. But Sam grins when he speaks of the dirtiness and lack of food, and he seems to feel glad that he can speak from firsthand experience of the deaths and blood of the war. At the end, Sam dies as he lives, bravely, publicly, and watched closely by his younger brother.